It's not a race

I like speed. I like driving fast, making fast decisions, getting answers fast and results faster. My patience with waiting, on a 1 to 10 scale, hovers at about a 0.2.

Part of what was great about my very earliest days at the gym was the speed with which things happened. Every week I my abilities grew by leaps and bounds. And even though I knew  it couldn’t last forever, I was disappointed for those days to end.

This morning I tested my one-rep max on deadlift. I was super excited to see how I’d progressed since (barely) getting 155 at the meet. I’ve done prowler work and deadlift reps at lower weights, plus back extensions, not to mention I have the mixed grip in my arsenal now. I should be way up there now! I warmed up with 65 pounds, then instead of patiently adding weights in 10-lb plate increments, I loaded a couple 25s on.  (Note: you may think Ben is busy elsewhere in the gym, but he always knows what’s going on. Coach has eyes in the back of his head.) “Jumping up pretty quick there killer,” he called across the gym. I was impatient, I wanted to get up to my max. I picked it up. To prove I could I lifted it twice.

Time to see what I could do. Two more 25s. I didn’t count how much that made it — I just wanted to see if I could do it (math, like patience, is not my strong suit, I have to count repeatedly and use my fingers to calculate weights).  I gripped it the regular way, lifted, and it refused to come up. Damn.

I set myself to do it again. Coach-who-sees-all thundered across the room, “WAIT.” I wandered impatiently, re-chalking my hands and trying not to tap my foot. I set myself again, determined to do it with the regular grip. “Pull out the slack,” I told myself, “don’t just pull.” I pulled. The bar reluctantly left the floor and traveled hesitantly, slowly. It started to slip from my left hand. It was so heavy. I couldn’t keep my grip and let it crash to the floor.

I’ll spare you the verbal thrashing that earned me – suffice it to say Ben expected me to complete the lift. Period. And to do that I needed to keep my arse down. Its tendency is to rise of its own accord like a helium balloon as I start to pull. I got one more try. “Mix your grip,” he said. By now I’d counted and I knew it was 165 pounds, 10 more than I’d struggled so mightily to get at the meet. There was no room left to fail. I picked it up and I completed it.

I wanted to do more. Ten more pounds is not a dramatic gain since the meet last month. At Ben’s instruction I added 15 more pounds. It may as well have been 50. Gravity was fighting much harder than I was able to, and I only got it an inch off the floor.

I got a new program after my less than spectacular new deadlift record. I’m now going to be doing Maximilian Mormont’s Powerlifting WODs. All about practicing technique. Reps and reps and reps and more reps. I will learn how to get my arse down, keep my chest up, and develop impeccable form (at least I’d better). And maybe along  the way I will learn some patience.

And now for my speed fix — last weekend’s speed squatting session:


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